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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Well, the Lomography people have released their newest camera, the Lomo LC-Wide. I have mixed feelings about this! On the one hand I think that it would be a fun camera to have. I mean, it does have quite a few interesting features. It takes 35 mm film but has inserts that let you take a square format picture (24 x 24 mm), or a half frame (17 x 24 mm).

That sounds fun in theory but there are a few problems. I have a holga camera that my uncle gave me as a gift a few years ago. Its a great way to go out just enjoy taking pictures. The results I have gotten from my holga have sometime been not so great and other times been terrific. I tried cross processing just a little while ago and love it! But with a camera like the LC-Wide, since it takes 35 mm film, having a square picture or a half frame would mean that the size of the results you get are much smaller than the pictures I get using 120 film with my holga. A few years ago I used to own an original Olympus PEN half frame camera. It was metal and had a solid construction. You put a role of 36 pictures into a half frame camera and get 72 pictures from it. But the results are of a lower quality that then will have trouble being printed into larger photos.

LC-WIDE

The ability to take really wide landscape type pictures is something that does appeal to me. It is said to have a ” ultra-wide-angle 17 mm Minigon glass lens”.  Thats pretty cool, but…the above concerns I just mentioned about using square and half frame pictures on 35 mm film, when combined with the price, mean that I most likely will not be getting this very soon. Now would I like my family to get a clue and give this to me as a gift? Oh hell yes! Would I pay $389 dollars for it myself? Um..not right now. (Not on a teachers salary!)

You can decide for yourself by looking here: http://www.lomography.com/

A bagillion other web sites have the technical specks but just for the heck of it:

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Exposure area: 36 x 24mm, 24x 24mm (square format), 17 x 24mm (half frame format)

Film Type: Standard 135 roll film

Lens focal length: 17 mm

Maximum aperture: 1:4.5

Angle of view: 103 degrees, 89 degrees (square format) 81 degrees (half frame format)

Focusing range: 0.4m – infinity

Maximum shutter speed: 1/500

Minimum shutter speed: Unlimited

Auto exposure mode: Programmatic

Exposure range: Unlimited ~ EV18

Multiple exposure: Manual shutter cocking with independent MX switch

Film sensitivity supports (ASA/ISO): 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

Flash: X-type synchronization hot-shoe

Tripod socket thread: Standard 1⁄4″ tripod socket

Cable release: Universal cable release socket

Overall dimensions: 108 x 68 x 44.5mm

Weight: 220g (film and battery not included)

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Could you do this?

I recently came across on you tube the video of a very dedicated large format photographer. I always thought that it would be cool to have a large format camera. In fact I have one that i never use, its a studio camera though and I do not have the space to set it up at the moment. But I have thought, from time to time, that having a field camera or press camera, like a Speed Graphic, would be great. I love landscape photography and large format film seems to be the way to go for that. But in looking at the very interesting videos made by photog Ben Horne, I now see that I do not have this kind of patience.

Getting up at 4 am, walking miles and miles to scout locations, setting up a shot the day before and coming back in the wee hours of the morning to take it. Not to mention carrying all the equipment around. I greatly admire those who can do this, but I am not sure that I am one! Have look at these videos and see what you think!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PfqNLXWqkA

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I was able to take a few test shots today while waiting for my car to be aligned and have two tires replaced. The bill ended up being $200 dollars! So below you will see a test shot taken with my Olympus Epl-1 and a Sigma 28mm ais lens for nikon. It’s a cheap lens but works ok. I am not sure if its worth the extra trouble since I have to guess at exposure!

 

Taken with the Epl-1 and Sigma 28mm ais lens

 

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An article at 43 Rumors is causing quite a bit of debate over the future of Olympus’s imaging (read camera and lenses) future. I tend to see the glass half full and hope that things will work out all right. Why? I love the way Olympus has, over the years, seemed to devote itself to quirky not the norm cameras. Their commitment to 43 in the first place was an odd step. Now they are focusing on M 43. Their art filters are fun, if only in an enthusiast not for professionals kind of way. Most agree that the lenses they do make are great, although the m43 pancake seems to disappoint many.

I guess if I were being realistic I would recognize that their attempts have always been kind of hit and miss. Any when you go into a professional camera shop they are usually not represented well. Here is an example: I went into Richmond Camera (in Virginia) and saw that they had Nikon and Canon products displayed. I asked if they had Olympus items, they said no. Now go to a place like Best Buy and they had the EPL-1 and the Sony NEX 3, and a whole lot of other entry level options. If you want to see an Olympus accessory or lens, forget about it! For that you have to read reviews, hope you have a friend close by that has one, and/or just buy the thing and hope for the best! So for both amateur photogs and also professionals a commitment to Olympus is kind of like being committed in another way (whohoo! lets all go to the loony bin), you have to be prepared to live with an alternative that is not as widely available as the Canikon one.

That having been said I believe in Olympus and do not regret my decision to get the Epl1, but I must admit the price was my main factor when all is said and done. I mean $400 for a great, small, interchangeable lens camera (that has a lot of buttons and is a little annoying to control).

If you want to see the article on Olympus’s future go here:

http://www.43rumors.com/olympus-will-become-less-japanese-bad-financial-results/

If you want to see the bruhaha  it caused at dpreview look here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&thread=37730892&page=1

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Over the years I have tried out a number of websites for photo sharing. I struggle with this because I am actually a very private person. I want the world to see my photos, that at least is one reason to take them after all! I have lately been thinking about all of the sites I have tried to show my photos on. Once I start to try out a site I loose interest in that site and then move on to another. The problem is that I know I am contributing to the clutter that is out there on the web.

So I have started  to try and remember the different places I have photos on the web and delete them. I just deleted some galleries I had on photoshop.com. I little while back I canceled my smugmug account. I just canceled my redbubble account and also deleted everything I have on photobucket.  Honestly I am not sure I even remember all the places I have put photos over the last 10 years. Thank god for gmail! If not for gmail I would have forgotten how to even log into these places. But I can search gmail and find my login info really fast!

Obviously I still love photography, and I enjoy taking photos. I consider myself an advanced enthusiast because, while I have sold a couple of images it was never something I made money on in any real sense. I am removing all these scattered images because I just want to simplify. I want to try having my photos all in one place and not like 50!

There is, however, one website I cannot bring myself to remove. Its an old photo blog site that is a record of my attempt to get back into black and white film photography.

http://northernexposure.my-expressions.com/

The weird thing is that my expressions is no longer taking new people on. The ones like me who had signed up and paid, I think it was $3 a month, now can use the site for free. Maybe I could find a way to copy and paste or record the site offline just for my  own purposes?

As far as the future goes I am not sure what I will do. Should I try out yet another photo sharing site? Should I look into getting my own server space? If I had my own website I could move this blog to wordpress.org and have a photo gallery and this wordpress blog all in one place. Not sure which way I will go! Any thoughts welcome!

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So I don’t really need another camera (do we ever?), but I do really want one. My budget is $500, but I might go up to $600. I want a small camera with a large censor. I have a Nikon D90, and its great camera, but its to big to carry around in a briefcase type bag. I have a small Lumix FH-20 and its great for size and also the 8x optical zoom is nice. But the size of the sensor limits its capabilities. Also you don’t have full control of settings like a PASM mode. I also have a G10. I thought I would never be willing to sell this camera, but I am. I just want the flexibility of a larger censor camera. I want to be able to make large prints for friends and family, from time to time. So, as you can see, I do not need another camera. What I should do, if anything, is get another lens for my Nikon. But thats not what I WANT to do!

So then comes the question of which small/larger censor camera to splurge on? Well there is not one out yet that is my ideal. My ideal would be an interchangeable lens, small camera systems that can use legacy (old) Nikon lenses (which I own) and has retro styling. Maybe even with old fashioned shutter and aperture dials like will be on the not yet to be released Fujifilm Finepix X100. Also it would be nice if it had 1:1 ratio as an option and art filters like pinhole and black and white. While most of my photos are nature and landscape, it would be nice if it also was very capable at higher ISO…say usable from 800 to 3200.

On paper the closest out their with my desired traits is the Olympus E-PL1, which seems really butt ugly to me! I hate the boxy look and those push button controls. It just lacks that sexy quality that cameras like the  Finepix X100 have in spades! Reviews of its image quality are outstanding, and many different reviewers agree on this. Its really, really, hard to get reviewers to agree on anything so that impresses me! Additionally it has some fun art filters to play with and the 1:1 aspect ratio I wanted. Not to mention, its prices have gone down to around $400 since the announcement of the EPL-2.

Next up on the possible list is the Sony NEX 5. The NEX 5 is all about the sexy factor for me. I happen to love its looks and feel, the buttons seems very logical. I do not mind that the function of its buttons change according to which mode you are in. I love the pull out screen and panorama mode. I worry that the panorama mode is a bit of a gimmick, it would be nice to see an actual large print from one so that I could tell the real quality. Where Sony falls short is the lenses. When you pick a camera, you are also picking a camera lens system. And the reviews for the Sony E lenses have been kind of hum drum. Of course you can use legacy lenses with adapters, so that is a plus. Another plus is the sensor, a CMOS sized one, larger than the M4/3rd option.

Also in the running is the Samsung NX100. I like the size, and I love the lenses. Thats about it. There are far fewer reviews out there on this system and my local camera store does not have it in stock. I think with its larger sensor it has real potential, but some people have said  image quality does not hold up to the EPL-1. What I love is their approach to lenses. Sony lenses do not make sense to me, why make a small camera with a huge lens? Samsung seems to be willing to make small lenses that actually look like they fit on the small NX100 body. Of course what you give up is image stabilization. Thats how Samsung makes the smaller lenses, so IS is not an option. I also love the ifunction button that lets you change shutter/aperture etc. by turning the lens.  I also wonder how committed they are for the long haul. Will they dump the line if sales don’t meet expectations?

On paper getting a Panasonic or Olympus camera makes the most sense for my needs. As a system I feel they are here to stay and the lens choices are really nice. I have not made my final decision yet. I’l keep you posted!

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So while Kodak is blowing up old buildings and laying off workers Polaroid has been busy finding creative ways to embrace its past while moving into the future. At the new CES 2011 Polaroid announced three new products. The new offerings from Polaroid are: camera sunglasses, a printer, and a nice retro looking instant/digital print camera. While these do not seem like home-run hits , I applaud their efforts to move forward in the digital age while essentially remaining Polaroid. Kodak meanwhile seems to be trying to ditch its past.

http://1000words.kodak.com/post/?id=635313

Here is a link to an article about kodak blowing up some of its old factories and promoting its printers. Uh, not impressed!

http://www.rd.com/content/printContent.do?contentId=27695&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=500&width=790&modal=true

Here is another story about how Kodak has been laying off workers and held on to long to its film heritage.

Now I love film, I still use it and am a big fan of Ilford, (http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp), a company that is committed to keeping film available for enthusiasts. I do however recognize that  most folks ,including myself, also have embraced the digital camera age. So how could Kodak bring these two together successfully? Well, how about a retro styled digital camera that has built in filters for kodak films that are now gone? It would have a kodachrome filter, and filters for other kodak films no longer made. It could also have a Tri-X filter (still made at the date of this posting). I would love to see that camera made!

Well, what about those wonderful new Kodak printers, you ask? Um,again, not impressed. When I go into a store like Best Buy to buy a printer what am I looking for? First I consider price! They all make pretty good quality prints, so price is key and then second is brand recognition, at least for me! Right now I have a Canon Pixma printer for 4×6 and 5×7 printing. I am perfectly happy with it. And when I don’t want to bother with that I just send the images to someone online, have them print for me, and then the pictures are mailed back to me! (Think Snapfish).

So, now, as for Polaroid, follow this link see there recently announced products, (I may buy the printer):

http://www.gossipcop.com/lady-gaga-live-stream-polaroid-grey-label/

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